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Showing posts from March, 2017

As 40% of India's deaths occur at home, there's no mechanism to track morbidity, cause-specific death rate: Report

By Rajiv Shah
A research paper on India’s “readiness” to track down how well it is doing to meet international health and nutrition targets has said that the country’s ability to collect data on both morbidity and death is extremely poor, with “no published report giving cause-specific death rates in India.”
Pointing out that since 40% of deaths in India “occur at home”, the paper, authored by two researchers, Purushottam M. Kulkarni and Nandita Saikia, insists on the use of “appropriate low-cost technology driven methodology” for assigning causes of death “through verbal autopsy method” through smartphone applications.
Pointing out that the published reports on death “do not provide detailed information on the number of persons exposed and events by age, sex and causes of death”, the paper regrets, as a result, “it is not possible for researchers to calculate the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) set for different countries “related to cause-specific deaths.”
“Beside…

Trump's clean chit to Modi on human rights? Govt "generally respected" free speech, expression: US state dept report

By Rajiv Shah
In a virtual clean chit and a reversal of the past US state department's viewpoint, the Donald Trump government’s first report on human rights situation in India has said that the Narendra Modi government in 2016 “generally respected” freedom of speech and expression, even though the Constitution “does not explicitly mention freedom of the press.”
The just-released “India 2016 Human Rights Report”, in fact, says, “Independent media generally expressed a wide variety of views without restriction”, insisting, “The law prohibits content that could harm religious sentiments or provoke enmity among groups, and authorities invoked these laws to restrict print media, broadcast media, and publication or distribution of books.”
Even as quoting the US-based Human Rights Watch as saying that “sedition and criminal defamation laws were used to prosecute citizens who criticize government officials or oppose state police”, the report insists that “most domestic and international hum…

Modi govt allocates 1% of UPA budget to "rehabilitate" manual scavengers in 2017-18: Govt of India official

By Rajiv Shah
In a shocking revelation, PS Krishnan, IAS (Retd), who is member of the National Monitoring Committee for Education of SCs, STs and Persons with Disabilities, has said that as against the UPA budget of 2013-14, when Rs 557 crore for provided for the rehabilitation of manual scavengers, the Government of India budget provides “less than 1% of it.”
Former secretary, ministry of welfare, Government of India, Krishnan says, the “neglect of the safai karmacharis” (manual scavengers) could be seen to have begun in 2014-15, when the NDA came to power. Thus, just about Rs 47 crore was spent in 2014-15, or merely 10% of the 2014-15 budget estimate (BE) provision of Rs. 439.04 crore.”
“This neglect”, says Krishnan, “worsened in 2015-16 when the revised estimate (RE) was only Rs 10.01 crore compared to the BE of Rs. 470.19 crore.”
Krishan underlines, “The gross under-utilization in 2015-16 RE was taken as the base for 2016-17 BE and a mere Rs10 crore was provided. Even this has bee…